Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Good Margarita Fixes Anything, Like Almost Getting Stranded in Mexico

One of the neat things about the house we had in Mexico was that is was literally right on the beach. We only had to walk off the back patio and traverse the white sand for maybe 75 feet or so to get to water. One of the not so nice things about our house was the size (there were 17 of us, my guess is it sleeps eight comfortably) and the, er, condition of the house. It was definitely a piece of crapola rustic. We had solar power, a tiny propane refrigerator, and the water flowed from a large tank downhill into our showers and toilets. What saved us was our good friend who happens to own the Mexican equivalent of a McMansion on the other side of the peninsula from where we were. She also was willing to let us come and use her house, her air-conditioning, and her awesome beach toys as often as we liked. So on day two, we packed up the kiddos, grabbed our directions, and hit the road.

Once we left the coast, it was all desert and scrub. The only thing breaking up the landscape was the pitted two lane highway that we needed to take to get into town, or to our friend's house. We were driving along when Kristi suddenly pulled over to the side of the road. I followed, and our other friend, Steph, pulled in behind me. Kristi's cargo on the top of her car wasn't secured, so we jumped out, put it in the back of her car, and got ready to go.

Then we saw Steph try to maneuver her Jetta back onto the road. Only it didn't move. It just kept sinking lower and lower into the sand until you couldn't see her tires anymore. We all jumped out of our cars again and surveyed the damage. It didn't look good, but at least it was a Jetta. We looked at my car, an enormous behemoth SUV that seats eight, and figured I could get behind her and push her onto the road (we don't have a tow package). So I put my rig into 4WD and gunned it, feeling rather smug that I would get to save the day. Only my car didn't move, either, and I watched the horizon over my dash rise as my own car sank into the sand. I opened my car door, and it was almost level with the ground (I drive an Expedition. Huge, wide, and pretty high off the ground).

I found Kristi and Steph and we all just stared at each other. It was so unreal. No AAA to call on my cell, no husband to call at the office and ask to come over and help me, just me, two of my friends, our kids, and a long stretch of Mexican highway.

I turned off the ignition (the exhaust pipe was buried in the sand and I was worried that the carbon monoxide would back up into the car), gave the kids a water bottle and portable fan, and told them not to move. Then I stood on the side of the road and just cried. For about a minute. Steph was already in action, grabbing shards of tires that were littered on the sides of the road from previous blowouts and yelled over her shoulder to start digging her tires out. I hesitated for a second, only because I was wearing a cute outfit, then got on my hands and knees and started scooping sand away from her tires.

After a while, we managed to clear the sand, place the strips of tires under her tires (for traction) and Kristi and I successfully pushed her out and onto the highway. Short of pushing out an eight pound baby with no drugs, I have never felt so exhilarated. We were screaming and high-fiving and jumping around the middle of the highway in our own She-Ra, Queen of the Desert moment. It was AWESOME.

We got to work on my car, only this time the digging took a lot longer. I was at work on the last tire, completely covered in sweat and sand, when I heard the rumble of the truck approach us. I could hear Kristi say something like, "Well. This could be a good thing. I think." I got up and came around the side of my car and saw this dilapidated truck with wood fencing up on the sides that held maybe fifteen or sixteen young Mexican men on its sides. They didn't look like CPAs. Or even the guy from AAA. But they gestured at me (at this point I was babbling on about the muchos ninos in our cars - I wanted to point out that we were by no means women. Just moms) to get in my car, I did, and I put my foot on the gas as a dozen or so Mexican Banditos (because you know that just sounds better, right?) pushed me onto the road. And then they were gone.

This post has already taken forever, so I will leave you with Kristi's Mexican Margarita recipe and call it a day.

Kristi's Foolproof Margaritas

Lots of small, Mexican limes
sugar or Splenda
Good tequilaMexican orange liqueur (Controi?)

Squeeze fresh lime juice into pitcher. Do not dilute with water. Add sugar, tequila, and orange liqueur. Taste. Add more lime juice. Taste again. Add more tequila. Yell at friends to put some damn music on already. Taste. Get some ice. Enjoy.

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